Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Ting Ting Loft Sediment Show Photos

Here are some photos from our gig last Sunday at Sediment Arts here in town. It was great to be able to stretch out with the full septet, and it was also really nice to share the bill with three such exciting and energizing acts: Lucas Brode, RAIC, and Taciturnal. A wonderful night, overall! I believe these pics were taken by Claire Zitzow, Sediment's Director.

Also, here's another advance blurb I missed until the show was over, from RVA Must-See Shows:
The New Loft, on the other hand, is just gonna get wild as hell. I had the pleasure of playing a show with this ensemble not too long ago, and while everyone from young metalheads to middle-aged jazz fans were represented in the crowd, everyone agreed that this group was an incredible sight to see. Fronted by two saxophone players, this group also features keyboards, guitar, and squelching electronic noise–and all of it is wielded in the free-est and most playful way possible. If you’re down with Sun Ra, the Fugs, Borbetomagus, and Captain Beefheart, you’re going to find something to love in the work of the New Loft. And even if you have no idea what I’m talking about right now, trust me, these guys will keep you entertained throughout their set.
I hope we did!

The full crew. L to R: Tommy Birchett, Tim Harding, Ben Scott, Fred McGann, Sam Byrd, Alex Ricart, Jimmy Ghaphery.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Playlist, Week of 2016-06-26

Playlist 2016-06-27:

*Anthony Braxton: 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011 (discs 1, 2, 3)
*John Coltrane: Live in Japan (discs 1, 2)
*Kris Davis Trio: Waiting for You to Grow
*Kris Davis: Capricorn Climber
*Decoy: Vol 1: Spirit
*Duke Ellington and His Orchestra: The Treasury Shows, Vol. 5 (disc 2)
*Alexander Hawkins: Song Singular
*Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey: Buoyancy
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2016-06-06 “Every Blessed Block” (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2016-06-13 “Honorary Ironing Board” (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2016-06-20 “Membrainiac” (wav)
*Tom Rainey Trio: Hotel Grief
*Sun Ra: College Tour Vol. 1: The Complete Nothing Is…
*Sun Ra: Spaceways
*Sun Ra and His Arkestra: Pictures of Infinity
*Sun Ra and His Intergalactic Infinity Arkestra: The Night of the Purple Moon
*Sun Ra and His Astro-Solar Infinity Arkestra: My Brother the Wind Volume I
*Sun Ra and His Astro Infinity Arkestra: My Brother the Wind Volume II
*Cecil Taylor: 2016-04-23 Whitney Museum, NYC (CDR)
*Rick Biddulph: Rick’s Medley for U.S. Tour (cassette>CDR)
*Leon Bridges: Coming Home
*Jeff Byrd: 1980? cassette recordings (cassette>CDR)
*Jefferson Pilot: Soundtrack to Welcome Stranger
*Deerhoof: Fever 121614 (selections)
*National Health: Missing Pieces
*Prince: The Versace Experience 2016 (streaming)

Reading List, Week of 2016-06-26

The chambers were poorly lit, and upon the walls hung the oldest of the tapestries, many dating from the founding age of Kharkanas. Time had faded the scenes to add mystery to their obscurity, and though Emral Lanear more than once leaned close in an effort to make out what she was seeing on her way to Lord Anomander's quarters, the High Priestess was left with a strange disquiet, as if the past was selfish with its secrets, and would make of the unknown something malign and threatening. (Steven Erikson, Forge of Darkness, 2012, p. 629)
One of the great things about the Malazan series is its evocation of a land burdened by countless eons of significant, dreadful, and influential events of the past, and of how that past is actually alive and well...and may be coming to bite you.

Reading List 2016-06-27:

*Erikson, Steven. Fall of Light (started)
*Erikson, Steven. Forge of Darkness (reread/finished)
*Hornby, Nick. Ten Years in the Tub (selections) (started/finished)
*Hornby, Nick. Shakespeare Wrote for Money (finished)
*Hinds, Andrew. Acting Shakespeare’s Language (in progress)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Upcoming Gig for New Ting Ting Loft

New Ting Ting Loft will be playing at Sediment Arts in RVA this Sunday. We'll be doing a 35-45 minute set, which will be a nice change-up from our typically shorter live sets (well, except for the hour-long Musicircus set, heh heh).  Details about the evening are here, including this wonderful blurb from promoter Samuel Goff:
The New Loft 
Okay I admit I am a total fanboy of this ensemble. My first reaction upon viewing them 2 years ago was the sort of fainting hysteria that surely gripped teenage girls upon seeing the Beatles in the early 60's. The best jazz / avant improvisers the city of Richmond has to offer. One of the biggest highlights at this past year's Noise Fest, every time I see this ensemble perform it is even more amazing, weird and glorious than the time before. One of the few ensembles I have seen that I totally get immersed in the sheer abrasivesness, playfulness, atonality and musicianship and my brain shuts off and just floats away. For real. Must be seen and heard to be believed. 
Nice, huh? Come check it out; it should be a fun show.

Playlist, Week of 2016-06-19

Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey: Buoyancy
Playlist 2016-06-20:

*Art Ensemble of Chicago: 1982-10-11 Salzburg, Austria (CDR)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: 1987-07-26 San Sebastian, Spain (CDR)
*Anthony Braxton: 1982-04-24 Detroit (CDR)
*Anthony Braxton: 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011 (disc 1)
*John Coltrane Quintet: 1966-07-02 Newport Jazz Festival (CDR)
*Duke Ellington and His Orchestra: The Treasury Shows, Vol. 5 (disc 1)
*Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House:  2014-09-26 Darmstadt, Germany (CDR)
*Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey: Buoyancy
*Tony Oxley: 4 Compositions for Sextet
*Wayne Shorter: Adam’s Apple
*Sun Ra: Standards
*Sun Ra: When Sun Comes Out
*Sun Ra and His Solar Arkestra: Secrets of the Sun
*Sun Ra: Continuation (Saturn/Corbett vs. Dempsey 2CD)
*Sun Ra and His Solar Arkestra: Other Planes of There
*Sun Ra: The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 1
*Sun Ra: The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 2
*Sun Ra: The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 3: The Lost Tapes
*Leon Bridges: Coming Home
*Deerhoof: Fever 121614
*Alan Gowen/Phil Miller/Richard Sinclair/Trevor Tomkins: Before A Word Is Said
*Heldon: Interface
*High Llamas: 2016-05-24 London (CDR)
*Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: Give the People What They Want
*Fela Ransome Kuti and His Koola Lobitos: Highlife-Jazz And Afro-Soul (disc 3)
*National Health: 1979-11-28 Washington DC (CDR)
*OOIOO: 2001-03-26 San Francisco (CDR)
*OOIOO: 2015-12-06 San Francisco (CDR)
*Dolly Parton/Linda Rondstadt/Emmylou Harris: Trio
*Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

Reading List, Week of 2016-06-19

Reading List 2016-06-20:

*Hornby, Nick. Shakespeare Wrote for Money (started)
*Hornby, Nick. Housekeeping vs. the Dirt (started/finished)
*Barthelme, Donald. The Teachings of Don B. (finished)
*Erikson, Steven. Forge of Darkness (reread/in progress)
*Hinds, Andrew. Acting Shakespeare’s Language (in progress)

Friday, June 17, 2016


Matisse, questioned about green flesh: I am not painting a woman. I am painting a picture. (David Markson, Reader's Block, 1996)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Playlist, Week of 2016-06-12

1979 it was, and I was there, and I recorded it on my old condenser-microphone hand-held Sony. The cassettes have been sitting in my card catalog cabinet for years, but I hadn't gotten around to burning it yet (kinda got sidetracked with all the old Tad Thaddock and UYA tapes, but that's another story). Then an old friend, Clay, asked me if I still had my cassette--his had been stolen from his car. So I was happy to dig it out and digitize it for him, and I'm so glad I did. The sound was pretty damn good, and the performance was outstanding. Pip Pyle's one of my favorite drummers: jazz chops with a rock sensibility, and the ability to navigate extremely tricky time signatures and complex arrangements with ease, dexterity, and fun, making it all sound easy. Trying to play along with old Hatfield and National Health records has proven to me that it's not! He was brilliant, really one-of-a-kind.

Playlist 2016-06-13:

*Beethoven: The “Late Period” String Quartets (Alban Berg Quartet) No. 12
*Various artists: Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #7: Seventh and Last a-Chronology 1930-2012
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: 1980-04-30 Konstanz, Germany (CDR)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: 1980-07-19 Den Haag, Netherlands (CDR)
*Rodger Coleman: recent studio selections (2016) (wav/mp3)
*John Coltrane: 1965-09-30 Seattle (CDR)
*John Coltrane: Live at the Village Vanguard Again!
*Duke Ellington and His Orchestra: The Treasury Shows, Vol. 4 (disc 2)
*Ingrid Laubrock & Liam Noble: Let’s Call This...
*Ingrid Laubrock with Liam Noble & Tom Rainey: Sleepthief
*Ingrid Laubrock Quintet: 2014-01-22 Brooklyn NY (CDR)
*Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey: Buoyancy
*Charles Mingus: A Modern Jazz Symposium Of Music And Poetry
*Evan Parker & AMM: Title Goes Here
*Sun Ra: What’s New (side 1)
*Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Research Arkestra: The Invisible Shield (2014 remaster)
*Sun Ra & His Arkestra: Out There a Minute
*Sun Ra: Unreleased test pressing tracks, NYC, 1965 (CDR)
*Henry Threadgill & Make a Move: Where’s Your Cup?
*Claypool Lennon Delirium: Monolith of Phobos
*Meters: Funkify Your Life (disc 1)
*National Health: Missing Pieces
*National Health: 1977-11-16 Kingston upon Hull, England (CDR)
*National Health: 1979-11-28 Washington DC (CDR)
*Amy Winehouse: Frank

Reading List, Week of 2016-06-12

I've always enjoyed reading criticism, so this book had some appeal. Like any good critic, Scott can dissect his views from many different and conflicting angles. He examines criticism from a stance grounded in Aristotle, Kant, Mencken, Henry James, and Sontag, easily threading through those thickets of thought and presenting them as clear, walkable paths. In the end he's not very conclusive, but that's part of the point. I did like this passage:
Let's say that a critic is a person whose interest can help to activate the interest of others. ... For that to work, what the critic writes or says has to be interesting in itself. And, of course, it can only really succeed in that way if the critic's own interest is genuine. (p. 256)
To be overly simplistic, for me the best criticism is that which sends you back to the work itself, either for a deeper appreciation or for a reexamination based on further evidence.

Reading List 2016-06-13:

*Erikson, Steven. Forge of Darkness (reread/started)
*Scott, A. O. Better Living Through Criticism (finished)
*Barthelme, Donald. The Teachings of Don B. (in progress)
*Hinds, Andrew. Acting Shakespeare’s Language (in progress)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Why Write?

William Gaddis, New Yorker 2012-02-17
It was also said of him [Samuel Butler] that he wrote in order to have something to read in his old age and I've always rather liked that too. (William Gaddis, interview, Review of Contemporary Fiction, vol. 2.2, summer 1982)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Playlist, Week of 2016-06-05

Playlist 2016-06-06:

*Various artists: Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #6: Sixth a-chronology 1957-2010
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Aphelion
*Kris Davis Infrasound: Save Your Breath
*Coleman Hawkins: Classic Coleman Hawkins Sessions 1922-1947 (disc 6)
*Billie Holiday: Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933–1944 (disc 5)
*Ingrid Laubrock: Ubatuba
*Charles Mingus: East Coasting
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2016-02-29 “Leap at the Wheel” (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2016-05-02 “Convo for Rent” (wav)
*Sun Ra and His Myth Science Arkestra: Angels and Demons at Play
*Sun Ra and His Arkestra: Bad and Beautiful
*Lennie Tristano & Warne Marsh: Intuition
*Weasel Walter/Mary Halvorson/Peter Evans: Electric Fruit
*David Bowie: Nothing Has Changed (disc 1)
*Fela Ransome Kuti and His Koola Lobitos: Highlife-Jazz And Afro-Soul (disc 2)
*Various artists: Doughboys, Playboys, and Cowboys: The Golden Years of Western Swing (discs 1, 4)

Reading List, Week of 2016-06-05

Reading List 2016-06-06:

*Hinds, Andrew. Acting Shakespeare’s Language (started)
*Scott, A. O. Better Living Through Criticism (started)
*Hornby, Nick. Funny Girl (started/finished)
*Sturm, James, and Guy Davis. Unstable Molecules (started/finished)
*Morgan, Chris. The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (finished)
*Barthelme, Donald. The Teachings of Don B. (in progress)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Value of Critics

 ...a thoughtful criticism of a work is not a report, but is, in part, a proposal opening up fruitful and rewarding ways of experiencing the text. We need critics precisely because we sense that the more rewarding experiences are often not immediately accessible. (Tzachi Zamir, "Philosophy," in Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare, p. 635)